I’ve ragged on a lot of covers with sultry-looking dudes in LARPing gear, but there’s something about these character-centric Robin Hobb covers that works for me. While not quite the homerun that the new covers for Hobb’s Liveship Traders trilogy are, the aging of Fitz, from young adult to weathered, handsome dude is a great touch for past fans of the series. Plus Fitz has an axe, so… yay.

Incidentally, young Fitz is the perfect draw for a young adult audience, who will be attracted by the bright colours and familiar design conventions. I discovered and loved Hobb’s work as a teenager, and I can see these new covers opening a lot of doors for a new generation of readers.

I could have done without the floating animal head ghosts, though. (JK, Nighteyes, I still love you.)

  • Steven M. Long July 9, 2014 at 4:20 am

    You totally nailed this. Before I read what you said about the pictures I looked at them: I also have a negative reaction to the realistic, sultry dude covers (the LARPing gear comment is spot on), but in this case it works fairly well. I still don’t like the general take that much (I like less realistic illustrations that are more about sparking the imagination) but the aging Fitz is a really nice element. The Farseer trilogy is the only work of Hobb’s that I’ve read. After three in a row, it was just time for a break, but I went through a whole “you gotta read this!” phase. Maybe it’s getting to be time to read another trilogy, though.

  • Rob B July 9, 2014 at 8:34 am

    He sort of looks like Tom Cruise with an extended nose on ROYAL ASSASSIN.

    I like these covers a lot (though I liked the original ones, too. Especially Assassin’s Apprentice)

  • Aidan Moher July 9, 2014 at 8:37 am

    @Rob — My first thought when I saw the covers was, “What the hell happened to his nose between Royal Assassin and Assassin’s Quest?”

    I didn’t know they had the technology for rhinoplasty in the Six Duchies.

  • Paul Weimer July 9, 2014 at 8:40 am

    Yeah, I’m not sure about the floating background animal ghosts.

  • Anton July 9, 2014 at 8:52 am

    Not sure how I feel about these. Ghost animals don’t bother me, but the nose does. :)

  • jazzfeathers July 12, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    The idea of having the character aging in the coper is fantastic. I don’t think I’v enever seen this dome before.

  • henrythefifth July 14, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    1. Paul Rudd, 2. Tom Cruise, 3. Mel Gibson (Braveheart)-Daniel Day Lewis (Last of the Mohicans) Hybrid

  • Steven M. Long July 14, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    I almost said Paul Rudd!

  • Mary September 27, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    I actually really like these new covers and I also have to agree and say that I usually detest realistic looking covers because they look like trashy romance novels. Yet, I love these. That nose though… Anyways, I just wanted to say that I just bought the Assassin’s Apprentice again but I got the newest cover, and I am very pleased. Barnes and Noble doesn’t have the rest of the new editions sadly enough, so I will have to wait.